Bangalow lad off to bright lights after rugby selection
THERE'LL always be a welcoming stubby at the Bangalow Hotel for Isaac Hill, but for now the bright lights are calling.
Hill, 19, has been invited to play with Sydney rugby giants Southern Districts' Colts after his display in a recent talent-spotting match.
Bangalow born-and-bred Hill has never been to Sydney - and is still in disbelief about his call-up.
"I didn't believe it at first," the Bangalow Eastern Rebels player said.
"I thought it was one of the blokes playing a joke on me.
"Rugby was just something I did for fun and fitness, but I'm pretty serious about it now."
Hill was spotted after the Sydney side travelled north to play his side in a recent trial.
Southern Districts, which competes in the New South Wales Shute Shield competition, is one of the state's leading teams.
The club has bred scores of Wallabies over the decades and has been a strong force in state rugby in recent years.
Former Trinity Catholic College Lismore student Hill took up rugby about nine years ago.
"I got too big for soccer," the blindside flanker said with a grin.
"My brothers played rugby, so I thought I'd give it a go.
"I like the physical side of it. You don't get into trouble if you smash into someone."
The Sydney club has three Colts sides, which help develop players for future senior competition.
Hill, who featured for his side in the annual Evans River 10s competition last weekend, is now busy raising funds ahead of moving south.
He should also feature for Far North Coast at this weekend's under-20 Country Championships in Mudgee.
Some of the best young players from across the state will be involved.
Hill said he was looking forward to life in the Big Smoke.
"I'm not too nervous," he said. "I can't wait to get down there.
"It's pretty good coming from a little place like Bangalow and having an opportunity like this.
"It just shows they've got eyes everywhere."